Friday, November 07, 2008

A Light of Hope

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"
Martin Luther King, Jr August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" Speech

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain and became the first African American to be elected President of the United States. They had created history & set a precedent for the world that minority races in a country can be the leader of the country.

Frankly speaking, I was really touched & inspired by the victory.

In United States of America, where racism is more or less the same as Malaysia, having a non-White president is kind of impossible or unimaginable.

Just 389 years ago, in 1619, the African was brought into USA to be slave. They are still slaves even after USA gain independence from Britain. What an ironry when in the Declaration of Independence,which hold as self-evedent the truth of human equality and the inalienable right to life, liberty & pursuit of happiness, African-American still being make as slave.

Only after the American Civil War, African-American was free from slavery, recognised as citizen of the United States of America and given the right to vote after United States Constitution gone through the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendment.

It may sound like things has change but it didn't. They soon find themselves being discriminated by most of the Whites who still thinks that they are 2nd class citizen. The whole situation remain more or less the same until 1960s.

Cartoon from Washington Post

While Obama's victory is withouht doubt a defining moment for the history of the blacks in the US and an indication of how far thay have come over the years, Obama himself is not a black civil activist.

His personalities & his thinking trangress the racial line. He never sought to champion for his own race but fight for the rights of all ordinary Americans. That was why he was elected as the 44th President of The United States of America.

The whole world was crazy over him when Obama won the election. What makes him the idol of all? Not as if he some superstar or some sort of famous person before that. There is no one in the whole world has any interest on him before he set foot for the race to be nominee for presidency for his own party, The Democratic Party of the United State of America.

I believe that what makes him the idol of all is not because the person he is but in what he symbolises. He symbolises hope. That what makes people around the world triumph over his victory.

I keep a close watch of most of his campaign. His every steps to victory has given me inspiration which is to dare to dream & that nothing is impossible even the odds are against you. As long you persevere, sincere & fight for it wholeheartedly, there is a chance for your dream to come true.

One of the Obama's speech that I quoted which inspired me to dream big & go for it was in his acceptance speech in reference to Ann Nixon Cooper, a 106-year-old Atlanta resident.

“She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky, when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin,”

“And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t; and the people who pressed on with that American creed: 'Yes, we can.'”

Will in my life time, I get to see or participate in something like this in Malaysia? I hope so.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer..."
Barack Obama Acceptance Speech

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